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Pak religious party proposes regional summit over Swat future

Karachi, June 8 (ANI): Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam chief, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, has proposed a regional summit that would require Pakistan, China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and India to participate and discuss the future course of action in the Swat Valley.

“Pakistan, China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, India and other countries of the region should meet at a summit to discuss regional interests,” The Nation quoted him, as saying.

Rehman also said that the Taliban terrorists couldn’t be defeated unless the US and the NATO withdraw from the Pak-Afghanistan border region.

“JUI-F can play a role for mediation and reconciliation in Swat but we can’t do so unless the army operation is brought to an end,” he said.

Rehman said that U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke’s recent statement against the drone attacks on Pakistani territory was not enough, and the U.S. should move beyond mere lip service.

“We had opposed the use of force from the day-one and now the U.S. administration too admits its flawed strategy. Unfortunately, the U.S. itself imposed war on this region,” he said.

Answering a question on the role of religious parties in the Pakistani Parliament, he said that it was the unity among religious parties that foiled US’ nefarious designs against Pakistan.

“Now when Pakistan has fallen victim to this war, unity of the religious groups is the need of the hour,” he stressed.

Rehman, who also heads the Kashmir Committee of the Parliament, criticized President Barack Obama for not touching upon the Kashmir issue in his Cairo speech, although he had mentioned the Palestine issue, and also hinted at withdrawal of the U.S. forces from Afghanistan. (ANI)

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